Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Fun

Okay, it's Friday, the weekend's here and that can only mean one's time to laugh.  First up, some videos.

We've had some flooding in the UK, but one person has made the most of it by waterskiing behind a car. From Scotland comes the tale of a whisky distillery using its leftovers to make biofuel.  Then there's the tale of the stone skimming world championships.  More importantly, how do you train for it?  On that subject, how do you train for the world custard pie throwing championships?  No idea, but this year's event was won by Pie of the Tiger.  All together...GRRRRROOOAAAAANNNNN.

How was your wedding?  I bet Obama didn't gatecrash it like he did for this couple, though he made it up to them afterwards. On the subject of elections, there are some in Brazil at the moment, where candidates will do odd things to get dressing up as Batman and Robin.  Well, it got them noticed.  Still in Brazil, how would you like to collect rubbish from the side of a mountain?  Nope, me either. 

And the final video is about a robbery that worked...but no one knows why.  A Tesco store in Wales has had 500 wire baskets stolen.  No other store in the area has reported any thefts, so police are somewhat baffled. 

In other stories, a world record attempt has failed as not enough naked swimmers turned up in Northumberland.  From that embarrassment to another. A shipping company had egg on its face when a ship on its maiden voyage came a cropper. What history were you taught at school?  Here's ten things British people wish they'd been taught.  On that subject, the story of the Ethiopian soldiers who fought in the Korean War.

Back to Brazil, this time for the world's largest gridlock.  180km of it in Sao Paulo.  Talking of backlogs, in Zimbabwe there was an organised toilet flushing to clear the sewers.

How lucky are you?  I doubt you're as lucky as the Norwegian family who've won the lottery for the third time. Finally, here's ten things I bet you didn't know last week.  Except for the smart alec at the back.  Yes, I'm talking to you.

Enough of that, it's time to laugh at some pictures.

I really hope that last one is a real place.  With that, I bid you adeiu and I shall see you next week.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


'And' and 'That' are two overused words.  But what are your options?

To take 'that' first, simply remove it as often as possible.  If you can eliminate 'that' from a sentence and it still makes sense, leave it out.  Simples!

'And' is a whole different problem as it's usually needed.  There is a solution though: use different words.  Which ones?  Try these for a start:


There are more options at Random Thought's blog.  Alternatively, create your own and remove those 'ands' from as much of your book as possible.

Go on, you know you want to.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Social Media: It's Not About You

There's nothing so irritating as people who continually blow their own trumpet, be it at a party or online.  So why do so many authors do it?

There are blogs and tweeters I follow because of their advice, and there are those I follow because they are entertaining.  There are also some I follow because I like the person.  I'm sure you have a similar outlook.  What I don't follow, and on Twitter have sometimes blocked, is the constant self-promotion.

Social Media is about being social, about sharing.  Sometimes it's going to be about your latest book or how you're progressing, but that's what friends do, you tell people what's happening in your life.  But, if it's all you do, people will treat you like a salesperson, or, even worse, like a politician.

So today's piece of advice is simple.  Social media is not about you, it's about you and your followers.  Ignore that at your peril.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Fun

Oddbox is no more.  In its stead I have trawled the internet for the weird and wonderful.  Alright, I've scoured the BBC website.

There's been a bit of a kerfuffle in the UK over some bones, that are reported to be those of Richard III, being dug up under a car park.  However, there are many royal bones that have been lost or mislaid.  From India there is the tale of the overweight elephants, while in Europe, there are tours of the site where Holmes and Moriarty battled to the death. In the Philippines, one man turned his book collection into a library and ended up with a few thousand more books, and the Ignobel prizes have been announced. They're awarded to research that leaves you asking the question: Why did they do that? 

There are a number of videos on the BBC site, so here's a selection of the oddest, strangest and most interesting.  First up are the ladies who tweet on behalf of the Mars Rover, followed by the cinema ninjas who tell people to be quiet.  What's your school run like?  In Mexico they've introduced Donkeys

A failed robbery is always good for a laugh.  One attempt to rob an Apple store went wrong, while a robber in Abingdon, UK found he couldn't open the door and took his disguise off while escaping.  While trying to escape from the police, one crook decided to throw money out of the car window.  He failed to get away.

Onto the natural world, and something I've always wondered.  How do you grow the world's biggest onion?   More to the point, how many tears are shed when you cut it?  Lastly, a Siberian zoo has bred the world's first Liliger, a cross between a two Lions and a Tiger.

Before I get to the pictures, take a look at this time chart of the causes of teenage sex.  Elvis comes in for blame as does the Bump (remember that), skipping breakfast and hugging. 

And now, it's onto the pictures.

And with that, I bid you adieu and hope you have a FABULOUS weekend.